The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: NCIC Must Do More to Prevent Conflict

editorial

A survey by the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation Monitoring Project has warned that relations among communities that participated in the post-election violence are yet to to heal.

The survey conducted in October and released yesterday signals a possible recurrence of violence as mistrust still persist almost five years into the violence.

Relations between communities that experienced post-election violence are fragile. Survey data shows that 79 per cent of respondents think communities have reconciled 'just a little' or 'not at all'," the report said.

The slow pace of healing and reconciliation among the communities that experienced post election violence in 2008 shows a failure by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to meet one of its core mandates: reconciliation.

Granted, bringing healing among communities suspicious of each other may need more than four years. There is also a danger of 'actual conflict' being contained but 'structural conflict' continue to simmer underground, waiting to erupt.

Thus an effective NCIC is still needed to ensure that there is not only an absence of real conflict, but of structural conflict as well. The activities of NCIC which was leading the reconciliation efforts had slackened because of uncertainty about the tenure of its commissioners.

The NCIC commissioners have since been re-appointed and the Mzalendo Kibunjia team to intensify its efforts to ensure it gets it right this time round.

Quote of the day: "Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilisation." -- US labour organiser Eugene Debs was born on November 5, 1855

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